Without a last Good-bye

The last  Good-bye  we could said to each other was at the airport, two years before she passed away. It was just before I returned to New York, back to a life I had built away from her. My mother passed away during Covid, and at that time, travel restrictions made extremely challenging to find a flight towards Lima. Like the rest of the world, I was forced to rely on video calls to navigate whatever I had as grief. Letting go someone without being able to say Good-bye is never easy. It becomes even harder with conversations left as pending.

I went through some old family photos, and  suddenly, a long-buried memory surfaced. It was my mother who had sparked my interest towards photography by lending me her camera with the sole purpose to stop my unbearable tantrums every time I was force into family gathering. She knew my growing tendency to avoid people, so she bribed me with a fun purpose to alleviate the strain from being around others.

Then it hit me, she had given me -way in advance, a tailored therapeutic tool to endure any outside discomfort, to be able to make a truce with my inner demons and ghosts. This was a new way to feel and understand my photographic practice.

Just like back then, I was looking for some creative means to cope with the unavoidable burden of dealing with all sorts tangled messes needed to be taken care of remotely. I began taking more walks around my neighborhood. The obvious initial desire was to clear my head but when spacing out into my own world, I noticed something unusual: there were no planes in the sky, only birds flying by. They became a metaphor for the eventual poetic freedom that comes with accepting my mother's passing and the new set of errands that came with it.

Nowadays, I have the impression that I have mastered it. I have learned how to get into or out of those emotional vibes on cue and most important, use them to create feeling the surroundings. I have also become better at embracing the fact that time to time grief, will come and go, but never will allow me to perform a last farewell.

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